Sometimes You Have to Lose a Friendship to Strengthen Others

One of the hardest things to think about now is that I don’t have a best friend. I have really close friends who I love with all my heart, but I lost my best friend. I know a lot of my close friends have had their best friend, their person, for years. Even though I know I’m very close to them and see a couple of them as another one of my best friends, I know they have other relationships that are closer than ours. 

I think I miss that the most - just knowing that you are the top person in someone’s life and they feel the same way about you. For me, that feeling of friendship equality is gone. Now I'm debating if I saw her as my top person, but I might not even have been in the top three for her. There isn’t really any way of knowing. That overthinking, questioning, the constant thoughts - they haunt you when you lose someone, especially if the story doesn’t seem like it goes together perfectly or makes sense at all. You lost the person you would go to for everything, the person who celebrated your wins and was there to support your losses just like you were for them. 

It might be one of the worst feelings in the world, losing a best friend. Suddenly, you are questioning everything. Who even are you anymore? Can you even imagine your life without them in it? I couldn’t. The person I saw through this didn’t seem like the person who was my best friend for over two years. They were different and it almost seemed like they hadn’t really known me at all, which in turn made me question everything about our friendship. That’s when I started to question our past and all of the hardships we had helped each other through. 

In just a couple of minutes, losing a best friend changes your entire life. It was incredibly hard for me to function normally for at least a week. I would switch from being incredibly sad to being angry. The confusion didn’t seem to end. What are you supposed to do when you see each other in public? No one has the answer for a best friend breakup. There are so many articles on how to deal with seeing your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, but a best friend? No one has the answer for that one. 

I love making new friends, but I never want people to know personal things about myself until I know I can trust them and that only comes with time. I am aware that my wants and needs conflict themselves, but I have had a lot of people that have decided to leave my life, sometimes for seemingly no good reason. Because of that, I have a lot of anxiety that tags along in my friendships. I constantly think about whether that person actually wants to be friends with me or if they decided to hang out with me for some other reason, like pity or convenience. 

I think it comes from growing up in such a small town. I never had the privilege of having an uncountable number of people to get to know and become friends with. There were less than 30 people in my grade and I had known most of them since kindergarten (or before). But one thing I realized when I moved to Toronto was that a lot of the relationships I had throughout high school were made out of convenience, which is why some of them didn’t work out. There are only a couple of people I still talk to frequently from my class but I’m really lucky to have made those few real relationships. 

Sometimes, it takes going through something so emotional to realize which friends are really there for you. In my experience, losing that one close friend hurts for a while, but it just makes your other relationships stronger. I had known most of the people in my friend group for over two years at this time and still sometimes felt like we weren’t as close as we could’ve been. I’m not sure if this was because I was spending so much of my time with one person or if I just didn’t open up to everyone else in my life because I already had someone there that knew everything about me.

Your real friends should support you as you grow and change, which includes everything you battle along the way. Since my friendship ended with my best friend, I have noticed I have spent so much more time with my other friends and am even creating new relationships with people I have wanted to reach out to but haven’t had the time to before. 

It seems like such an easy concept: just make the time to see new people. Lately I’ve experienced how amazing new friendships can be. I forgot how exciting it is to learn about who a person is.